CBD on Shark Tank
Famous celebrity endorsements for CBD products have gradually become an emerging thing as cannabidiol-infused products are now the number one selling herbal ingredient in 2019.
These endorsements typically come about with many of these ‘influencers’ either being in music, sports, acting or overall fame to their name (or clout in modern day terms). However, despite musicians, athletes and celebrities being at the top of the influencer food chain, a new trend as become the go-to strategy for marketing CBD products. And that is claiming a specific CBD oil brand was an ‘As Seen on TV’ featured product on Shark Tank.
The research team at HealthMJ wanted to put the hard hats on and start investigating whether or not any Shark Tank TV episode featured a CBD (cannabidiol) product by name.
Are findings and feedback are listed below, and felt this was a necessary cause to endure. This is how an unassuming user becomes a victim of a potentially low-quality, ineffective, impure CBD oil tincture because a company and/or brand focuses on marketing messages versus product efficacy. Aside from the dangerous of untested, non-independent third-party test analysis results or certification of analysis present, any of these CBD brands can be saturated with harmful ingredients. But now, there is a new worry to be aware of, as seen on TV Shark Tank CBD campaigns that appear to be falsely advertised from top to bottom.
Let’s review the CBD product claims and whether or not any Shark Tank investor backs any particular brand or company to see whether or not you should steer clear of these gimmicks.
What is Shark Tank?
Started in 2009, Shark Tank is a show that invites innovative and soon-to-be entrepreneurs to pitch an idea for a good or service that established investors, also referred to Sharks, bid on. Renowned Sharks include the likes of Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Kevin Harrington, Kevin O’Leary, Troy Carter, Chris Sacca and Daymond John.
As alluded to, many of these celebrity product endorsements usually involve sports players who are prone to injury and need recovery solutions or social icons who are trying to monetize their large social media followings. But, Shark Tank being widely popular and publicized mainstream television network show, the marketing tactics have now started to associate these ‘off-brand’ CBD products as a leverage point to have you drop your guard and buy these cannabidiol-infused tinctures due to a ‘credible’ backing from someone you know, like and trust (due to their popularity and credibility). These tactics are attempting to tell and sell stories as a basis to decoy consumers.
Was CBD Ever Featured on a Shark Tank TV Show?
Most below the belt marketing gimmicks about CBD and Shark Tank start by stating it is the “The most watched episode on Shark Tank,” or a “Team of entrepreneurs make the cut with their CBD product on Shark Tank,” or “The world gets introduced to CBD with recent Shark Tank episode with millions of views,” or the one above, “This a Miracle in Shark Tank’s History.” You get the idea.
Getting CBD to become mainstream took years of convincing, and when consumers hear such claims, they may become much more relaxed and even be more open to the idea of potentially accepting CBD as a viable option. The guard drops and the attention slips to the celebrity vs the overall quality and integrity of the product itself. And once the 2018 Hemp Farm bill enactment by President Donald Trump back in December 2018 to start in January 2019, there are now thousands of CBD oils and hundreds of CBD brands/companies to choose from. This is how CBD was able to top turmeric as the best-selling ingredient in the world.
An actual scam claimed that the product at hand was featured on Shark Tank only to win the hearts of the Sharks. While a quick Internet search pulls up nothing about a specific CBD oil being featured in Shark Tank, most of the hype seems to be exaggerated or fabricated language to lure unassuming consumers in for their money. To date, there does not appear to be any CBD product, brand or company who has went on or been on an aired ABC’s Shark Tank TV show.
Now, that is not to say none of the Shark Tank investors have anything to do with the marijuana industry, as even Business Insider put out a piece talking about five of the sharks take on medical marijuana, or ‘wacky tobacky business’. While no mention of CBD was found when reviewing each of Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner had to say about the budding industry. We will review each of their comments and quotes at the bottom as the primary topic of interest involves CBD being on Shark Tank.
Why Take Such an Approach to Advertise CBD Products?
Take a moment to think about this. Would you, without prior knowledge of the brand or those involved, purchase CBD? If a CBD product hasn’t been used by consumers, would you even look its way? The answer is probably, no.
As consumers, knowing that someone has previously tried it, or important and popular figures stand by it – it inherently boosts one’s confidence because why would one want to standby a bad product and ruin their reputation right? If a doctor (like Doctor Oz) says CBD is good, why would we question that? Similarly, if entrepreneurs are willing to invest millions in a CBD product, one would assume it must carry some value. These are reasons why such approaches are taken to advertise low-quality products, otherwise no one will feel comfortable investing their money! Thus, leveraging the clout of Shark Tank TV show and slapping their new-to-market CBD oil product gives them a boost out of the gates quickly.
How do Such Shark Tank CBD Schemes Work?
Once consumers enter a webpage advertising a CBD product and are surprised to see that investors are all fighting to put all their money in one basket, the temptation to read more arises. Such scams continue to quote the actual Sharks, giving off the impression that the quotes do truly come from them. This pre-sell marketing tactic can be quite successful if users are not savvy or aware enough of the possible ‘misleading’ claims being compiled.
The positive experiences are shared from start to finish, with no break in between. As consumers read more and more about positive experiences, which is how CBD initially picked up in the form of video evidence, they become comfortable with the advertised brand. With confidence reaching as far as the ‘moon and back’, the 14-day trial pops up. Free trial? Testing a product before even paying the price? This must be a way to convince consumers, what a great tactic! WRONG!
The Free Trial CBD ‘Scam’
The ‘try before you buy’ sounds great right. Who doesn’t want to get exposure to a new CBD product before paying for a full bottle at Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)?
But, the reality of the free trial CBD offer sets in once you sift through the fine print. It is safe to say ‘scams’ evolve and these newer CBD product trials are tough to spot as the devil is in the details. For starters, the 14-day trial is really less than seven days because it takes time to receive, and eventually the product needs to be returned. Then comes the shipping fee that consumers need to pay in order to receive the product, which is a result of compromising one’s personal information and entering your credit card information. In the event that said product isn’t returned, it’s the consumer’s fault because they failed to read the Terms and Conditions. In other words, the failure to return the product implies that they are satisfied, and a charge will be made to one’s credit card.
With most of the CBD scams that exist, once consumers are lured in, they sign up for subscription plans that are harder to get out of, unless of course the bank comes to one’s rescue as it is usually difficult to get a direct response or immediate action should you want to stop the monthly auto-billing cycle that starts after the 2-week ‘free’ CBD trial starts.
Example of Misleading Shark Tank and CBD Promotion
Look, CBD is everywhere – the boom of the green rush has made CBD the most popular herbal ingredient of 2019 and hundreds of brands are now pushing cannabidiol extract.
It is featured all over the news and many celebrities, sports players and people of interest are using and even opening up their own CBD brand – but that does not mean it was featured on Shark Tank or recommended even as we touched on above. Here is a clip showing a small example of a local news station:
The first CBD/ Shark Tank advertisement dates back to 2017, where two Korean women, Angela and Yoojin Kim were said to have appeared on the show to introduce their CBD product. They not only “won” the hearts of the Sharks, but they did so by garnering millions of dollars in support. This never happened, and the advertisement depicting two Korean women were actually Sara Lee and Christie Chang who did appear on Shark Tank in 2016, but with a totally different idea that had absolutely nothing to do nor related to cannabis, let alone cannabis oil.
The non-existing CBD product Angela and Yoojin Kim introduced and swept the Sharks off their feet seems to have a revolving door of names attached to it. From the sample ‘landers’ the team uncovered, it is essentially near-identical claims and website layouts that quite literally only swap out product names when and where links are to visit the actual product’s website to place the order (usually offered in the free trial sample variety). So, we have a consumer who was convinced by CBD XXX brand, and another consumer might say for example, “CBD Relief”, then it might be that both consumers are getting the same product!
What These Unofficial CBD Shark Tank Sites Include:
The saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Well, in the world of Shark Tank-endorsed CBD products, the version akin to the adage above might be – if you can’t detect it, understand it. That might be a stretch, but let’s cover what other types of information these falsified CBD websites claim and provide so the B.S. radar can be easily activated next time you are considering buying a CBD product that says it was shown on Shark Tank TV show.
1. Fictitious Clinical Trials and Findings
In addition to celebrity endorsements, and personal experiences, scammers tend to share that the product of interest has undergone testing, only to result in out-of-world benefits. If one comes across claims such as “CBD was effective in 97% of participants in the study,” then the best course of action would be to find that study. Such claims are normally rarely made unless the study is actually available. If they aren’t available for whatever reason, then it shouldn’t be tough to contact the team behind the product and to request a copy of the results. Most credible CBD companies who operate ‘above-board’ will make sure all accompanying paperwork and medical studies are highly visible and present on the website.
The main reason why asking for such information would not be problematic simply rests in the fact that the CBD industry is unregulated. This means, those who are truly in the business to offer consumers quality products, would work in the latter’s interest and ensure that their trust has been earned. With the current industry being unbelievably saturated in a rather short period of time, companies are starting to take measures that will not only set them apart from the crowd, but also show to consumers that they are in it for the wellness of others. While CBD does have a bunch of benefits and supporting medical literature, as it stands today it is largely understudied in humans due to the federal limitations imposed on medical marijuana for many decades.
2. Counting Down Until Free Trial Option Ends
In every CBD free trial sample offer, as consumers near the end of the page, they come to realize that the offer at hand is for a limited time only. After reading that big investors are involved, someone who’s been on prescription drugs for decades has finally experienced relief with a month’s use of CBD, and all the “hard” facts making CBD look good, looking at that counting down timer is surely to induce fear in consumers. Fear in the sense that they might be losing the opportunity to take advantage of the offer! And with that one click, consumers are left regretting their decision later on. This fear of loss mentality seems to be effective given the other factors all indicating this is a must-have CBD oil given the Shark Tank attachment.
In a world where everything costs far too much on a basic salary, discounts become a big deal if it means consumers can save big bucks. Unfortunately, scammers take one’s frustration in regard to high cost of living to their advantage – because these are the people who easily become victimized.
What Should One’s Course of Action Be Next?
Whether by online search, email or social media network advertisement, likely anyone who has shown any interest in CBD will have come across one of these forms of aggressive marketing tactics. Let’s review a few steps of action to take should you stumble upon one of these possible ‘As Seen on Shark Tank TV’ CBD products.
1. Wake Up the Investigator Within You!
Aside from the hopefully-now-obvious caveat that zero CBD products have been featured on Shark Tank, the first step is to evaluate the claims made. Sounds so intuitive right? Interestingly, not many consumers consider this step. Take the Shark Tank affiliation for instance. If the proposed product truly convinced Sharks to invest millions, that episode should be available somewhere right?
If not, Sharks themselves may have discussed their decision to invest in such products with some news outlet.
An example of interview is that of the Shark Investors and Business Insider two years ago, in which Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner’s viewpoints on cannabis was shared.
While O’Leary is interested in the marijuana industry, he fears of the risks tied to becoming a cannabis investor. In particular, he was referenced stating:
“I would love to invest in the marijuana industry […] I have to hold off for now. I can’t take that risk. I can’t go to jail for being a cannabis investor.”
Then we have Corcoran who has tried it herself twice, only to note that it wasn’t something for her. However, it is a business she’d be open to invest in. That said, the investor wouldn’t just fall into the traps of CBD scams, but instead would prefer businesses that she’s currently supporting to find a way to enter such a market. More specifically, she said:
“I would like Daisy Cakes, one of my best investments from Shark Tank to make marijuana cakes […] I advised her to, but she says it would ruin her brand.”
As for Herjavec, he believes that it’s a little too late for him to invest in the cannabis business. In particular, he trusts that, “Like any trend, if we’re talking about it, it’s already happened,” adding that he would invest, but at the time of the interview, is not an area that he understands.
Cuban on the other hand previously shared that he would not invest in the cannabis industry only because,
“everybody’s rushing in it’s hard to keep track of what everybody’s doing because there’s a new startup every single day. I think the oversaturation of the market creates a very difficult challenge.”
Another area that consumers can easily investigate, once again, is the findings referenced. Is there an actual study that was conducted, if so, what was the sample size, who was involved, what was the methodology, etc.
2. Read the Fine Print
Find specific words that are available in fine print, usually tucked away at the very bottom of the advertisement. Most scams are made to throw information at consumers, which are achieved in an eye-catching way. If this is the case, wouldn’t the terms and conditions be depicted in a similar manner? Not at all. In fact, most if not all sites of this nature, have the terms and conditions in such fine print and masked behind all the positive information made away.
If consumers fail to do this step, then they miss out on key information such as the auto-billing subscription plans, monthly charges, returning the free sample, etc.
3. Details Regarding the CBD Product Itself
If a CBD product was able to improve health facets in 97 percent of participants, consumers need to be curious why this was. Was it because it was pure CBD, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD? Does it have something to do with the dosage of CBD per serving? Speaking of dosage and concentration, is such information provided? If a product is listed as being $70, is this because 500mg of CBD is being delivered per serving? Less or more?
Also, to expand upon the variations of broad-spectrum vs full-spectrum, and pure cannabidiol isolate, is vitally important given it all boils down to THC, the ‘high’ marijuana molecule that could cost some users their jobs if drug tested and unwillingly take a CBD product that is full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum or isolate only.
As the CBD industry continues to flow along its wave of success, projected to be a $22 billion dollar industry by the year 2022, new entries are surely to hit the market. Most products are advertised online, which means consumers have very limited people to ask about its likes. While local health food stores and even gas stations are starting to offer CBD, the best way to approach a product offering is studying the claims made. Consumers should think of it as a live investigation, where the claims made are questioned and need a few extra layers of verifiable documentation and plausible paperwork. If a CBD product is said to make a positive difference, one must ask how and why this is the case. Questioning unveils a number of other questions that otherwise would not arise.
Assuming you make it past the Shark Tank CBD claims, always check for independent third-party lab test analysis and results of a certification of analysis (CoA) as well. And like said, any product who resorts to such tactics of leveraging Shark Tank’s fame and recognition to sell their CBD product may not be a trusted, respected company to deal with. By doing quick online searches, one can easily tell there is no ‘official’ Shark Tank CBD affiliations. The importance of research cannot be stressed enough given the uncertainty of the CBD market and the number of bad players present. At the end of the day, every product needs to be perceived in terms of one’s health, especially when long-term effects of CBD have yet to be studied.